The peach producing industry in the United States - additional information
The peach tree, native to Northwest China, is believed to have been domesticated and cultivated since 2000 BC. From China, where it was favored by royals and depicted in tapestries and literary works, it was brought to India, Persia, Greece and later on to the American continent. Today, the peach fruit (as well as the nectarine, which is a peach variety, not a different fruit) comes in hundreds of cultivars of different sizes, slightly different colors and aromas and is cultivated all around the world.
As of 2014, the peach and nectarine production worldwide amounted to more than 22 million metric tons, with Asia being the largest regional producer.
In the United States, the total peach production was estimated at 847 thousand tons in 2015. That same year, California was shown as the largest producer on a state level, with some 607.6 thousand tons harvested, representing about two thirds of the total national production. According to the U.S. Department of Agriculture, in 2014 about 3.1 pounds of peaches and nectarines per capita were consumed in the United States , a decrease from 5 pounds per capita a decade prior. Annually, Americans eat over 120 pounds of fresh fruit per capita, bananas, citrus fruits, apples and watermelons being the most popular.